She held my gaze with tears in her eyes, words tumbling out, eager to be free and I, just as eager to hear them.
"I'll never forget the day I was reading the paper online and saw a link to 'new infant loss group'. Of course, I had to click on it and read your article. Tears fell as I read it again and again. I printed it out and held it, wanting to give it to my daugther but knowing it wasn't yet time."
I smiled, already knowing the ending to this story, yet needing to hear it again if for no other reason to solidfy that the facts of the last year are actually true, that I haven't been living a dream that a good solid pinch will wake me up from.
"That was last February" she continued, tears more prominant than ever, "and here we are, in November - bowling. My daughter found you, found your group."
Yes, yes she did and we are so grateful for her strong presence, both in group and as part of our ever expanding board.
"My prayers were answered" she concluded and I found that we were holding hands, joined in our reverie even as the chatter of giggling families and clatter of bowling balls whirred around us.
The event was everything is was meant to be. As always, all the right people were there and received exactly what they needed. It was advertised as a 'celebration of family' and one pan of the room conveyed that our intentions had indeed been met. Yet, even as balls hit gutters, pizza was consumed and cheering ensued as someone threw a strike, our babies were remembered, were there amounst us, smiling angels on our shoulders.
I stop short when I think what has been achieved in just one year and look forward to the lighthearted celebratory conversation that will spin around the dinner table as the board members dine together on December 22nd, our one year anniversary.
Even so, there is so much more to be done. Lest we not lose our momentum, but let it gather speed propelling us futher down the track of expansion, reaching every family, every parent, every heart broken by loss.
And now, a few images from our day... The lanes...
The angel ornaments, personalized and hung on our tree!
The memory bands...
A few of our Angel Babies above each lane...
Just a section of the raffle!
And, the main event: The Bowling!
And, as 'on her game' as ever, my very own comedian taking a 'little rest from the ball game'
Until next year a family friendly psa: Bowling is fun. It makes you laugh. It causes you not to take life, or yourself very seriously for a couple hours. Go Bowl!